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Manorhaven residents turn down proposed 4-year mayor term

Manorhaven residents voted on Oct. 3, 2017, against

Manorhaven residents voted on Oct. 3, 2017, against extending mayoral terms from two years to four. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Manorhaven residents voted resoundingly at a Tuesday referendum against extending the mayor’s term from two to four years.

The referendum nullified an Aug. 24 decision by the village board of trustees to adopt a four-year mayoral term if approved by a community vote. The measure was defeated by a vote of 311-170.

Village Mayor James Avena did not respond to a request for comment about the results. Avena was elected in June 2016.

Village officials had previously touted the advantages of a four-year term, such as allowing more time and commitment for sustained projects. Trustee terms would not change from two years.

Opponents of the term extension questioned the reasoning behind the proposal and why the referendum vote was not simultaneously scheduled with next year’s general election. Several residents also criticized the ‘vote yes’ signs that had appeared throughout the village in the days prior to the referendum, asking whether the signs had been procured and installed using taxpayer funds.

Avena said in an email Tuesday that the signs were paid for by a private party and “not installed by village employees.”

Manorhaven resident Caroline DuBois, who voted against the referendum, said that it was necessary to keep the board of trustees accountable by limiting the length of terms.

“The residents have shown an overwhelming desire for accountability and transparency,” she said.Most mayors and trustees in North Hempstead Town’s 30 incorporated villages serve two-year terms.

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